Mellanox Improves Software-Defined Storage Performance at 40Gb and 100Gb Ethernet Speeds

Thursday, 25 June 2015    Source:

Red Hat Summit, Boston, MA - June 25, 2015 - Mellanox® Technologies, Ltd. (NASDAQ: MLNX), a leading supplier of high-end cloud and storage networking solutions, today announced it has produced a set of storage performance benchmark results working with partners and customers—that demonstrate an increase in performance for Red Hat Ceph Storage and Red Hat Gluster Storage with network connections at speeds up to 100Gb/s. Mellanox partnered with Red Hat and its partners, including SanDisk, Scalable Informatics, Supermicro, and Storage Foundry, to show the benefits of using fast, low-latency 10, 40, 56, and 100Gb Ethernet networks for Red Hat Ceph Storage clusters. These solutions allow larger and faster Red Hat Ceph Storage daemon (OSD) servers when using all-flash configurations or large numbers of hard drives in each server to perform beyond standard 10Gb networking, making Red Hat Ceph Storage deployments high performing and cost effective.

Red Hat Ceph Storage is well suited for archival and rich media and cloud infrastructure workloads, such as OpenStack. As enterprise and cloud customers evaluate and deploy Red Hat Ceph Storage on faster servers, with more flash, and for more demanding users, they are looking to faster networking solutions to increase performance.

"Mellanox is investing heavily in delivering the benefit of high speed networks to Red Hat Ceph Storage and Red Hat Gluster Storage customers," said Kevin Deierling, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies. "We see a groundswell of interest in using software-defined storage and in deploying Red Hat Ceph Storage and Red Hat Gluster Storage with 10, 40, 56 and 100Gb/s Ethernet network speeds in order to maximize performance and support flash storage and new workloads such as SQL databases and Big Data."

Mellanox, Red Hat, Seagate, and Supermicro are also in an ongoing Red Hat Ceph Storage benchmarking project to demonstrate the performance with various combinations of flash and hard drives. The first phase proved the following benefits of using 40GbE instead of 10GbE networks:

Increases large read performance up to 100 percent for Red Hat Ceph Storage servers with 72 drives and up to 20 percent for Red Hat Ceph Storage servers with 36 disks reduces read and write latency up to 50 percent provides optimal price performance for write-intensive workloads on large-capacity Red Hat Ceph Storage servers

Scalable Informatics has been collaborating with Mellanox and Red Hat using 100GbE networking on an all-flash based Unison Red Hat Ceph Storage appliance. They have demonstrated 8GB/s+ reads from disk between a single appliance and client using Red Hat Ceph Storage. This combination provides an incredibly dense, high performance Red Hat Ceph Storage SSD solution with simplified networking.

In addition, Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) - supporting both RoCE and InfiniBand - is now available as a technology preview in the Ceph Hammer community release and has recently been enhanced in Red Hat Gluster Storage 3.1, having been first made available in Red Hat Gluster Storage since release 3.0.3 in January 2015. Mellanox testing shows RDMA accelerates Red Hat Ceph Storage large block random read throughput up to 23 percent and Red Hat Ceph Storage small block random read IOPs up to 45 percent. In addition, RDMA increases Red Hat Gluster Storage large-file read throughput up to 18 percent.

"SanDisk has significantly improved Red Hat Ceph Storage performance on flash with our InfiniFlash all-flash storage system, demonstrating a fourfold to tenfold increase in Red Hat Ceph Storage IOPS," said Gary Lyng, sr. director of solutions and product marketing, enterprise solutions at SanDisk. "By working with Mellanox and leveraging its 40GbE networking, we can help enable Red Hat Ceph Storage for new workloads and offer a high performance solution at an unprecedented cost structure. We look forward to continuing our work with Red Hat, Mellanox and the open source community to help increase Red Hat Ceph Storage performance and expanding workloads even further."

"Testing of an all-flash configuration with Mellanox 100GbE networking and our SSDs based Unison Ceph Appliance let us achieve a sustained 8+ gigabytes per second from a single server to a single client," said Russell Nordquist, systems engineering manager at Scalable Informatics, a leading Hyper-converged appliance vendor headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan, that sells storage and analytics appliances to the financial services, pharmaceutical, and research customers. "Our appliances are designed to support incredibly high IO rates, and leveraging Mellanox's 100GbE networking allows us to serve the data at twice the speed as before over a single link. We have customers now deploying Unison Ceph appliances using 100Gb Ethernet and flash drives to handle bigger and faster workloads beyond the traditional archive and object storage."

"Storage is a big challenge for everyone, and we're all hunting for a simple, scalable, and cost-effective answer," said Craig Forbes, Product Manager at the storageFOUNDRY. "Those requirements created the Nautilus line of software-centric storage systems, a hybrid of hardware and software technologies that include Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Ceph Storage. For the connectivity of Nautilus, Mellanox creates an amazing high-speed network using their 10GbE-56GbE ConnectX®-based adapters and SwitchX-2® switches, which have allowed us to support over 3700MB/sec for a single client connecting to Nautilus via NFS."

"Supermicro's longstanding relationship with Mellanox and Red Hat enables innovation across our server and storage portfolio including 2U TwinPro and 36, 72, and 90x hot-swap Double-Sided Storage solutions," said Don Clegg, vice president of marketing and business development at Supermicro. "Our collaborative efforts on high performance networking are helping drive the next generation of software-defined storage. With the Supermicro advantage, customers have the performance, flexibility and manageability to deliver cloud scale applications."

RDMA networking also complements the low latency of PCIe flash media. Red Hat Gluster Storage test results using 4-node Gluster system with 4 clients, using 2 PCIe flash drives per node with RDMA vs. TCP using all-flash media show the following performance improvements:

  • 1MB block random IO (Gluster):
    • Reads: RDMA does 13.03M IOPS vs. 8.25M with TCP - 57 percent performance improvement
    • Writes: RDMA does 2.08M IOPS vs. 1.39M with TCP - 49 percent performance improvement
  • 16KB block random IO (Gluster):
    • Reads: RDMA does 2.08M IOPS vs. 1.39M with TCP - 49 performance improvement
    • Writes: RDMA does 0.97M RDMA vs. 0.82M with TCP - 18 percent improvement

Red Hat Gluster Storage is purpose-built as a scale-out file store with a straightforward architecture suitable for public, private, and hybrid cloud environments. Red Hat Gluster Storage offers mature NFS, SMB and HDFS file interfaces and is well suited for enterprise virtualization, analytics, enterprise sync and share, and rich media workloads.

"To scale to the needs of enterprise IT departments and web-scale service providers, software-defined storage can be deployed with advanced networking capabilities that provide the requisite high throughput, IOPS and low latency," said Brent Compton, director, ecosystem, Storage and Big Data, Red Hat. "Our benchmark testing shows that certain Red Hat Ceph Storage configurations are faster or more cost effective using 40Gb Ethernet."

More information on the Mellanox networking solutions for Red Hat Ceph Storage and Red Hat Gluster Storage are available in the Mellanox booth #321 at Red Hat Summit, June 23-25.

Click here to view our full Mellanox range

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